The controversy over “Duck Dynasty” has worked its way from public airwaves into the halls of Alabama’s statehouse, with one lawmaker promising to introduce a resolution backing the actor who was recently suspended for remarks that offended some as racist and homophobic.
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family in the show, was suspended from the show by the A&E Network for remarks he made to a magazine comparing homosexuality to bestiality and that African-Americans were happier working in the fields before welfare.
A number of people have defended Robertson, saying his remarks are constitutionally protected under his right to free speech, with many also arguing that his remarks on homosexuality simply reflect Bible teachings.
In a statement to the newspaper, The Daily Home, Alabama state Sen. Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, said he plans to introduce a resolution next month praising Robertson as a hero.
“Phil Robertson’s family values are shared by the vast majority of Alabamians, who are rightfully concerned by the vitriol aimed at his Christian stance,” Fielding told the newspaper.
“There’s a clear double standard in the media favoring a liberal worldview. When it’s used to silence and punish Christians for stating their beliefs, that’s when we must defend the rights of individuals to exercise their free speech without fear of politically motivated repercussion. I join thousands across Alabama and our country by standing with Phil Robertson, and urge A&E to reverse their action against him,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, a petition to end Robertson’s indefinite suspension reached its goal of 250,000 signatures on Friday, roughly one week after it was created, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Faith Driven Consumer’s “IStandWithPhil” petition had 252,918 signatures as of early Friday morning.
The Christian advocacy group is demanding that A&E reinstate Robertson and that the network issue a formal apology to Robertson’s family and his fans.